BRIDGEPORT– Father Albert D. Audette, Jr. died on Sunday evening, April 1, 2023 at his home in Naples, Fla. He was 90 years of age.
“Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Audette and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano in making the announcement.
A former fighter pilot, Fr. Audette will be remembered in gratitude by many throughout the diocese as a gifted and accomplished priest with a remarkable life story and a deep love for God, country and family. He brought his great faith, life experience, energy and intelligence to his ministry of service in parishes in Bethel, Danbury, Brookfield and Stamford.
Albert David Audette, Jr. was born in Central Falls, R.I., on June 12, 1931, the son of Albert D. Audette, Sr. and Mary Kennelly Audette. He was baptized July 6, 1932, at St. Theresa Church in South Attleboro, Mass., received his First Holy Communion on May 18, 1941 at St. Patrick Church in Cumberland, R.I. and the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Theresa Church in South Attleboro, Mass. on May 12, 1942.
Father Audette attended St. Raphael Academy. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska and Master of Business Administration from George Washington University. He also studied at the Foreign Service Institute and the National Defense College.
Father Audette served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1981. During these years, he attained the rank of Colonel. In the early years of his military career, Father Audette served as a jet fighter pilot (flying many missions in Vietnam during the war), test pilot and instructor pilot. Among the many honors he received during his military career, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Cross of Gallantry. Later, he served as an attaché to the Ambassador to Portugal.
On July 10, 1954, he married Mary Ann Poling at the Church of the Assumption in Topeka, Kan. They raised four children together. Sadly, Mary Ann passed away in 1989. After some time, Father Audette discerned a vocation to the priesthood and requested admission to serve in the Diocese of Bridgeport.
Father Audette received his priestly formation at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pa. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Bridgeport by Bishop Edward M. Egan at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport on May 29, 1993.
Following his ordination, his first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Bethel, where he served until 1996. In January of 1996, he was assigned as administrator of St. Peter Parish in Danbury. Later that year, he was named pastor of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish in Brookfield. His next assignment was as pastor of St. Peter Parish in Danbury, where he served from 2002 until his retirement in 2007.
Upon his retirement, Father Audette took up residence at the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist in Stamford. He went back to school and obtained a Masters in Mental Health, and after receiving his degree, opened the Roman Catholic Center for Mental Health and Spiritual Direction in Stamford which focused on providing care for those unable to afford it.
In addition to his parish responsibilities, Father Audette served as Coordinator for Ministry to the Newly Ordained.
Father Audette’s Funeral Mass will take place at St. Joseph Church in Alexandria, Va. Father Brian Gannon will be the homilist. Interment will follow at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. The date and time will be announced at a later date.